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Spokane Police continue to clean up downtown

Spokane Police continue to clean up downtown

The Spokane Police Department said its working to make sure large groups of street kids don't take up residency in downtown Spokane this summer.

The department has been using the colder months to cull the herd of young people who loiter on sidewalks and outside businesses. Capt. Judi Carl, the officer in charge of the downtown precinct, is taking a no-nonsense approach to making sure downtown is a pleasant place for everyone.

It wasn't that long ago that scenes of street kids sucker punching a man in front of the Satellite Diner or sacking a sports apparel store was a frequent sight downtown.

The incidents served as wakeup calls that downtown Spokane was starting to slip out of control.

The city council reacted by passing a new city budget that included more officers; new ordinances were passed that should clear sidewalks for pedestrians instead of squatters.

Now, as the temperatures climb, so will the number of officers you see on the streets.

Advisory group ready to present Riverfront Park renovation recommendations

Riverfront Park, Spokane's crown jewel, is now one step closer to getting a massive makeover.

After a year-long process, Riverfront Park's advisory committee is presenting their renovation recommendations to the park board this week. Ted McGregor, chair of the park's 20-person advisory committee, said the group is recommending the park board make big improvements to the Howard Street promenade.

"There is a north bank over there somewhere but we can't see it, so we want to open up some of the walkways in the park, we think that will address safety and use," McGregor said.

There could also be changed on the horizon to the pavilion, turning it into a multi-use event space. The committee wants the ice skating rink to be moved closer to the gondolas, and the Imax theater to be torn down.

"It'll open up the views, open up the plaza, a lot more," McGregor said.

There are also plans to add a playground near the Red Wagon as well as one at the north end of the park.

"I think they are pretty cool, they are good ideas," park goer Megan Radford said.

U-Help program offers another Spokane Gives opportunity

U-Help program offers another Spokane Gives opportunity

Spokane is working towards becoming a more compassionate community through Spokane Gives Week, but if you don’t have time to volunteer there are other ways you can be involved. One way is by making a donation to the City’s U Help program.

U Help provides one-time emergency assistance to low-income households to help pay their city utility bills. The Salvation Army runs the program free of charge which means every dollar of every donation goes directly to people in need.

Spokane Police add five officers to ranks

Spokane Police add five officers to ranks

Five new recruits to the Spokane Police Department graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in Burien on Tuesday.

Chris LeQuire, Jordan Brown, Corrigan Mohondro, Brandon Fabian and Brandon Lynch will return to Spokane for three weeks of SPD specific training. The new officers will start serving the community at the end of April.

Race for the Cure runs new route

Race for the Cure runs new route

Downtown Spokane will be flooded with pink next weekend for the 2014 Race for the Cure, but this year runners will be trekking along a new course.

The race traditionally starts in front of the Convention Center, but because of hotel construction the course needed to be adjusted. This year, the course will start and end on Spokane Falls Blvd. and Post right in front of City Hall and the Bloomsday Runners.

Boy rushed to hospital after falling off cliff at Liberty Park

It was a scary Monday evening for one family after their 6-year-old boy fell off a cliff overlooking Liberty Park.

"He fell at least 50 feet," Spokane Fire Department Lt. Gregory Borg said.

The Spokane Fire Department said a father and son were walking along the cliff just a little before 6 p.m. when suddenly the 6-year-old boy slipped and fell.

"We think he has a broken arm and a few bruises and scrapes and that's it," Lt. Borg said.

The boy was transferred to a nearby hospital with his dad. The dad told KXLY4 off-camera while waiting by the ambulance that he and his son were just exploring the area when his son got ahead of him. The boy slipped in the brush and fell down the bluff.

"His dad was freaking out," Johnny Billedeaux said.

The 14-year-old said he was sitting on the bluff watching the baseball game just a couple feet away and saw it happen. He called 911 immediately after.

"I heard somebody coming and I saw somebody slide on the side of me and it was that little boy and he fell," Billedeaux said.

Spokane vying to be named compassionate city

Spokane Gives week kicked off Saturday with Cleaning from The Core, and the week-long volunteer event is continuing, a city-wide effort to eventually name Spokane one of the most compassionate places in the country.

Mayor David Condon said it might take a few years but the first step is getting people involved in a volunteer project like bagging food for the less fortunate at places like Second Harvest Food Bank.

"I volunteer once a week, usually in the evening for two hours," Steve Borchard said.

"My birthday was yesterday and this year I thought I'm going to give back for my birthday, rather than take presents in," volunteer Claudia Campbell said. "I'm putting in a one to four shift today and I know I'll be back."

Borchard and Campbell are among the roughly 1,000 people who have signed up to participate in volunteer projects this week. But that alone is not enough. The charter for Compassion International wants to see a permanent change that will restore the golden rule that is 'treat all others as you wish to be treated yourself.'

"You make a big impact in a short amount of time. It's hard work but it's rewarding," Borchard said.